- Written by: Molly Shaw
- Produced by: Kyle Gahm
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
Texas-based Lee Construction & Maintenance Corporation (LMC) is doing something many general contractors shy away from: self-performing up to 70 percent of service. “Our competitors are more or less construction managers; we manage, but we also self-perform, which makes us more readily available to our clients and makes them think of us first,” says Ed Wauters, director of operations for LMC. “From underground utilities to the roof and everything in between, we’re self-performing it. Customers don’t have to wait on a call to get a price, because we’re already there on-site and if there’s an emergency situation; we’re there to fix it.”
Since 1989, LMC has been serving big-name public sector clients as a primary job-order contractor (JOC) for states, counties, federal agencies, universities and more. “We’ve worked with the U.S. Postal Service [USPS], NASA, the Coast Guard and the Army Corps of Engineers; our client list goes on and on,” shares Wauters.
Building repeat business
LMC has cultivated an extensive client base by going the extra mile. “We’re not looking for a one-shot job,” explains Jerry Lee, president and owner of LMC. “What we’re doing is developing relationships through quality, integrity and workmanship. Not to say others can’t do that, because there are a lot of good contractors in this business, but we take pride in giving the client a little more than what we’re contracted for.”
Aside from being company owner, Lee is also a veteran and a member of the Cherokee Indian tribe. “Since 1989, we’ve been American-Indian owned,” says Jim Lee, co-founder who is also a veteran and member of the Cherokee Tribe. “LMC started out as a construction and maintenance company. Eventually, we got our foot in the door on more government projects and things really started to expand from there.”
Wauters goes on to explain that the team now does a little bit of everything, from ground-up to restoration projects. “We’ve done projects from communication tower buildings and astronaut quarantine facilities at NASA to master contracts for Harris County,” he continues. “We’re also LEED-certified and we have LEED Gold and Silver certificates.”
Today, LMC has offices in Houston, San Antonio, Dallas and Tulsa, Okla., allowing the company to offer a full range of construction services across Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, New Mexico and Arkansas. “LMC has 200 professionals and we concentrate our work in Texas, but often go out of state,” adds Wauters. “We have approximately 20 to 30 project managers across our offices, as well as site supervisors, foremen and a slew of skilled labor.”
Clients across the southwest turn to LMC for exemplarily service, for less. “We truly believe we offer the best value for the price and our clients agree,” ensures Wauters. From new construction to maintenance, masonry, remodeling, excavation, concrete and underground utilities, LMC delivers best-value contracting.”
The team performs everything from open air pavilions to basketball courts and gymnasiums; higher education renovations and also emergency repairs. “When there’s a hurricane or tornado, we’re first responder contractors,” he continues. “We’re an emergency contractor for USPS. When there’s a storm threat they come to us.”
From rapid-response emergency service to the intricacies of achieving LEED certification, LMC’s range of expertise is wide-reaching. “Under the leadership of Jeff Soto, senior project manager, we delivered a LEED Gold astronaut quarantine facility for NASA, which was ear marked for LEED Silver, but we got enough points to hit the next rank and actually just a few points under LEED Platinum,” recounts Wauters. “We’re currently wrapping up a two yearlong, $10 million underground utility and fire suppression project for buildings in NASA’s quadrant three, also under Soto’s supervision.”
LMC’s recent work with NASA has also helped the company land more utility and campus site work at the University of Texas Dallas (UTD) “We were please to use our experience with NASA to add a valued client in the Dallas/Fort Worth market area noted Jim Lee, who heads up the North Texas and Oklahoma activity,” he continues.
LMC also prides itself in its ability to perform in fully operational facilities, getting in and out and getting the job done with minimal disruption. “LMC delivered a $1 million renovation of the Harris County Law Library, moving it from the 17th floor to the first floor,” details Wauters. “It was a tricky job, because the first floor was a jury assembly room with a theater ceiling and sloped floors. We had to use raised flooring and light-weight fill and modify the bases of the case work to accommodate the slope.”
The team is also adding 56 office spaces for the county attorney in the same building. “We know how to be sensitive toward what they’re doing and how to work around people,” he continues. “At the end of the day it’s all about being easy to work with and meeting the clients’ needs -that’s how you maintain and build new relationships. Those relationships are what build our business by giving us great references.”
LMC’s relationships are so strong that Wauters says the contractor actually grew through the recession. “We’ve never experienced any layoffs, even through the downturn we were looking for good people,” he recalls. “Our contracts with USPS and NASA really helped us stay busy but customers know we’re the best bang for their buck. They’re going to get better service and better quality for their money with LMC.”
Keeping as much in-house as possible, LMC Corporation offers a different approach to general contracting; one that’s the best value and best experience.
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